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Which is correct – Mormon, LDS, or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

With new developments and dropping the use of the word “Mormon,” what about the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area? Will the name change?

In a nutshell, no. The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area was named as an act of Congress and will remain so named.

Many of you have reached out to us on the phone, email or on social media. We appreciate you taking your time to reach out and inquire on our status. You see, the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area is a nationally-recognized heritage area, as well as a recognized 501(c)(3) organization. As such, it is important to note that the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, while named with a common nickname for an organization that is a religious organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is a completely different entity.

Ute tribe story teller and Viet Nam veteran Larry Cesspooch at the warrior statue at the BoƩ le Hollow Veteran’s Memorial on the Ute ReservaƟ on in Fort Duchesne, Utah. Cesspooch draws on his own war experience to comment on the long ago war story of Chief Sanpitch in the Discovery Road show “The Lost Tomahawk.”

Along with all of the hard work at the early stages of the MPNHA, there were many conversations about selecting an appropriate name. These included conversations with the public relations department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During these talks, it was clear that the MPNHA was being organized to share the heritage of the early settlers and peoples in central and southern Utah, many of whom were Mormon pioneers. Additionally, the Heritage Area would share the stories of the landscape, and the interactions with the Native people and other settlers who helped shape the threads of the communities located inside the boundaries of the MPNHA.

Recently, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it would discontinue the use of the word “Mormon” in its branding and asked its members worldwide to do the same. There would be certain exceptions to this, as detailed below, taken from the official style guide of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Mormon” is correctly used in proper names such as the Book of Mormon or when used as an adjective in such historical expressions as “Mormon Trail.”

As many of our neighbors have asked, we will continue using the legal name of the MPNHA, the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. Changing the MPNHA’s name would require an act of congress, and be quite cumbersome to all involved.

Not sharing the stories of the early settlers of the area, who were mostly Mormon pioneers, would not do the rich history of the area justice. Their contributions to central and southern Utah is evident in every town that is inside our boundaries. It is also the case if we ignore the Native population and its similarly important heritage.

Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area

As an organization, we are committed to improving the lives of those living inside the boundaries of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, as well as to drive tourism into each of the five designated districts of the MPNHA, Little Denmark, Sevier Valley, Headwaters, the Boulder Loop, and Under the Rim.

Looking Forward: The Next 10 Years And Beyond

The pioneers who settled what is now the MPNHA were always driven by hope and a vision of the future. So it is with the Heritage Area.

For overall direction, the MPNHA will continue to look to its management plan and work toward the goals described therein. We will continue to operate according to our partnership philosophy, which means helping counties, cities, towns, nonprofit groups, businesses and private individuals get projects off the ground that fit Heritage Area goals.

We will continue to tell the story of the Mormon pioneers of south-central Utah with passion and impact, including continuing to promote development of interpretive sites, and preservation of landmarks and historic buildings.


High School Junior Submits Video to the MPNHA

High school Junior, Katie Whitehead, submitted this video to the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, highlighting her trip through several National Parks. We appreciate her sharing and admire her talent. Katie – We look forward to seeing more of your work!

My name is Katie Whitehead and I love photography and everything to do with it. I started taking pictures with my professional camera in 2015. I recently went on a trip with my family to Bryce Canyon, and a couple other areas. Of the areas we went to, Bryce was my favorite because the rock formations are very unique and the atmosphere there is amazing. At night you can see millions of stars because there is hardly any light pollution there. I highly suggest that you visit Bryce Canyon at least once in your lifetime if not more. Thank you for watching the video!

Remembering Senator Robert (Bob) Bennett – A Friend of Pioneer Heritage and Preservation

Remembering Senator Bennett

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area honors a friend of Pioneer Heritage and Champion of Historical Preservation in the State of Utah – Senator Robert (Bob) Bennett. He will be greatly missed.

Posted by Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area on Friday, May 6, 2016

Senator Robert Bennett 1933-2016—A True Friend of Pioneer Heritage

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area has lost a hero in the passing of former Sen. Robert Bennett who sponsored the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Act, which brought the MPNHA into being.

Sen. Bennett, 82, died May 4 of complications related to a recent stroke. He also had pancreatic cancer.

Sen. Bennett introduced his bill to create the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area during the 107th Congress (January 2001-2003). In his introduction, the senator spoke passionately about the need to preserve the rich pioneer heritage of the MPNHA:

“Spanning 250 miles from the small town of Fairview, Utah, southward to our border with Arizona, the area encompassed by the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Includes outstanding examples of historical, cultural, and natural resources shaped by Mormon pioneers. The story of the Mormon pioneers is one of the most compelling and captivating in our nation’s history. After traveling 1,400 miles from Illinois either by wagon or by pulling a handcart, the pioneers came to the Great Salt Lake Valley, “ he said. “Along the way, the pioneers experienced many hardships…Many people died during their journey… The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area will serve as special recognition to the people and places that have contributed greatly to our nation’s development. Throughout the heritage area are wonderful examples of architecture…and cultural events…that demonstrate the way of life of the pioneers.”

The senator fought tirelessly to ensure passage of the bill, which after being passed by the Senate, received the support of the House of Representatives on July 24, 2006. The Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush on Oct. 12, 2006.

Sen. Bennett’s love for the area grew out of the many trips he took through the state campaigning for his father U.S. Senator Wallace Foster Bennett.

In a Discovery Road episode “Discovery Road – ANHA Tour” he spoke of those experiences:

“With the development of the Interstate…it had the effect of leaving [Highway] 89 behind,” he said. “It meant it left a lot of history behind…It’s important that history not be lost.”

“The MPNHA and its people owe so much to the vision of Sen. Bennett and his commitment to preserving the rich history of the area,” said MPNHA Director Monte Bona. “We mourn the loss of a true friend and offer our condolences to Sen. Bennett’s family and loved ones.”

Sen. Bennett had a long and distinguished political career, serving three terms as a U.S. senator.

The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Makes KSL Great Outdoors List

The KSL Five Panoramas You’ll Only Find In Utah by Contributor Mike Godfrey, was posted on Nov 25th, 2015 .  The Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area Makes KSL Great Outdoors List with two of their heritage areas.  The Goblin Valley State Park and Zion National Park.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS — Utah is a land of diverse and breathtaking vistas filled with mind-boggling stone formations and capped with snow-covered peaks. Each day Utah’s varied landscapes put on a stunning display.

For the willing explorer and homebody alike, Utah has so much to offer. Here’s just a handful of interesting tidbits and panoramas highlighting some of Utah’s incredible outdoor treasures, beginning with a landscape that has helped make Utah an outdoor traveler’s paradise.

Sunset at Goblin Valley State Park in March. (Photo: Mike Godfrey, At Home in Wild Spaces)
Sunset at Goblin Valley State Park in March. (Photo: Mike Godfrey, At Home in Wild Spaces)

Goblin Valley is named for a unique collection of geological formations called hoodoos, which have been nicknamed “goblins.” Near the southern end of the San Raphael Swell, Goblin Valley’s delicate wonders have been featured in films, international news and countless family memories. It’s an otherworldly landscape as unique as any, and found only in Utah.

View of Zion Canyon from Scout's Look Out in Zion National Park. (Photo: Mike Godfrey, At Home in Wild Spaces )
View of Zion Canyon from Scout’s Look Out in Zion National Park. (Photo: Mike Godfrey, At Home in Wild Spaces )

Along with a human history of more than 12,000 years and a dramatic world-renowned landscape of mesmerizing verticality, Zion National Park can also claim the distinction of being Utah’s very first national park.

Named Zion (which means the City of God/sanctuary) by early European-American pioneers, this one-of-a-kind Utah landscape is home to some of the world’s tallest sandstone cliffs, which dwarf even the continent’s tallest man-made structures. This red rock wonderland located in southwestern Utah is also home to an incredible number of world-renowned hikes including the Zion Narrows, Angel’s Landing and the Subway.

For these and many more reasons, Zion National Park is nearly always listed as one of North America’s most visited national parks.

When visiting these beautiful, unique landscapes, remember to always tread lightly, leave no trace and have fun. A landscape as beautiful, rugged and diverse as Utah, merits equal-parts adventure, appreciation respect and preservation.


Mike Godfrey is a graduate of BYU, and along with his wife Michelle, the owner/manager of At Home in Wild Spaces: an outdoor recreation website, blog and community dedicated to sharing national parks, wilderness areas, hiking/biking trails, and more.

The Mormon Miracle Pageant in Manti, Utah

Miracle pagaent

June 18-20, 23-27, 2015

Every June comes an experience of dance, drama, music, and a cast totaling over 800 performing on a stage that is larger than a football field.  This compelling story of ancient American history comes alive in dramatic scenes that tells of the classic battle of good over evil.  The many characters in this pageant will remain with you long after the last performance, perhaps will stay with you always.  Here you will be introduced to the likes of Ammon, Captain Moroni, King Lamoni. Mormon, Samuel the Lamanite and many more.

Mormon Miracle Pageant
Mormon Miracle Pageant

The pageant is right off the Utah Heritage Highway 89,  where the scene settings unfold under the starlit night with the exquisite Manti Temple sitting stately before the audience.  From the east there is the beauty of the landscape maybe as it was in ancient times when the inhabitants of the pageant lived and died.  Here you will visit the reenactment of the resurrected Christ visit these ancient people that will be depicted in the Mormon Miracle Pageant.


Christ visits the laminites

Here you will see the resurrected Christ appear after the great destruction that followed His crucifixion.  He will heal the sick, and bless the children.  You will learn how the sacred records were preserved in this, our time.

These ancient records are provided to Joseph Smith and the people that God has come together to help Joseph translate and publish the Book of Mormon.  Through the story of fictional characters Robert and Mary Henshaw, you will experience their struggle as they search for religious truth. In the awe inspiring finale, you will come to know the overpowering knowledge that love and families are eternal.


The saga of the Mormon Miracle Pageant unfolds at the base of the magnificent Sanpete, Manti LaSal Mountains, with the fresh, cool canyon breeze, and the canopy of the evening stars preparing a perfect night for the performance to begin.  Major enhancements have been made for a more enjoyable experience such as new sets, newly staged scenes, and new costumes.


This year the most awaited scene of the resurrected Christ’s appearance to the ancient people on the American continent will be included this year in the pageant.  The Mormon Miracle Pageant will share with you and your family another testament of Christ.

While food is allowed on the Manti Temple grounds, please clean up and carry out any garbage that you have brought in with you.  There are several fast food facilities close by the pageant location

For pageant information, call 1-866-961-9040 . The Sanpete County Travel Council, 345 West 100 North, Ephraim, UT 84627, 435-283-4321 or 800-281-4346 has further information about the local area. Many families camp at local parks and campgrounds. We urge all pageant visitors to strictly observe speed limits and traffic laws. Please, treat the private property of local residents with respect.

Spring City Readies For Heritage Day

DATE 05/19/2007 7:15 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Spring City Readies For Heritage Day

Spring City Readies For Heritage Day, Event Will Coincide with Scandinavian FestivalPeople coming to Sanpete County for this weekend’s Scandinavian Festival will also have the opportunity to take in a bit of Utah history while they are in town.

The entire town of Spring City, located about 12 miles from Ephraim, is listed on the National Historic register. And once a year, the residents of this small artists community open their doors to everyone.

This year’s Heritage Day will be May 26. The day-long event includes historical tours of more than a dozen restored homes and buildings, including beautiful pioneer homes, the recently restored Old Spring City School, and the bishops storehouse; an art show featuring local artisans; and an antique show that will include a saddle display, furniture and farm equipment.

The home tour, sponsored by the Friends of Historic Spring City and the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP), is an annual event in Spring City during the Memorial weekend. Tickets go on sale the day of the event and are $10 for adults and $5 for children and can be purchased at the Old Firehouse on Main Street or at the Old Spring City School, site of the art and antiques show.

The tour will include architecture as well as commercial buildings, public buildings and Spring City’s famous LDS chapel. This year’s tour includes three new restorations on the town’s Main Street: the Orson and Mary Ann Hyde House, the Jensen House (an Arts-and-Crafts-inspired bungalow), and one of the town’s earliest stone houses, the Paul and Charles Kofford house. Three other houses on the tour are “works-in-progress,” including the Judge Jacob Johnson house, the largest historic house in Spring City.

A popular attraction each year is the Spring City Public School, which was restored via a community effort and is now used for public events. Built in 1899, the school has eight classrooms, four on each level, as well as a large attic space, complete with windows. At one time, it housed all the grades, and was even used as a middle school and high school.

A complete list of homes on the tour is available online at:

# # #

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
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